8 Questions to Ask When Cleaning Out Your Closet

At Goodwill, we love clothes! We can't resist the perfect pair of jeans, cute dress or flattering top. We understand the thrill of the hunt, finding great deals on clothes and adding them to our collection. For many, however, the closet runneth over.

Having too many clothes make our homes feel cluttered and unorganized, actually making it more difficult to find an outfit in the morning and making laundry feel like a mountainous chore. For this reason, organization gurus like Marie Kondo have best-selling books, full of great advice for making a peaceful space.

So, clear a little time in your schedule and get sorting! 

While everyone has different preferences for how they organize, here are a few tips to get started on the process:

  • Keep yourself entertained. Play some music, a podcast, or audiobook in the room where you are sorting. This may keep you from getting distracted and leaving the task. It's best if it's something that doesn't require too much focus, because you want to give your brain a chance to think about the clothes you're touching.
  • Set aside some time. Eat a snack and drink some coffee before starting so you feel energized and ready to go.
  • Tackle in portions. Don't feel like you have to go through your entire wardrobe in one day; start first with one kind of clothing, like tops, shoes, outwear, bottoms, etc. Do as much as you want to in one session and come back later.
  • Start in the easiest place. For many, tops are the least daunting starting point. Find what feels right to you. 
  • Have a Goodwill box ready. Once you decide that you no longer need an item, toss it in the box and don't look at it again. The more often you handle your "get rid of" pile, the more likely you are to second-guess your decisions. 

As you scrutinize each piece of you wardrobe, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does it fit?
  2. Is it comfortable and flattering?
  3. Do I feel confident when I wear this?
  4. Have I worn this in the last 12 months?
  5. Is it likely I will ever wear this again? (Be honest!)
  6. Does this represent me, where I am or want to be in life?
  7. If this is damaged in any way, will I actually make the effort to repair it in the near future?
  8. If I was shopping right now, would I buy this?

If you answer no to any of these questions, it's time to say goodbye! Toss them in the Goodwill box and don't look back! 

Pro-tip: If you feel on the fence about an item, put it in a box and put it in your closet for a month. If after a month you haven't thought about that item or opened the box to get it out, donate it!

Feel confident in your decision!

We know that getting rid of clothes can be difficult, but we also know it can change lives; not only will you find your home a more relaxing and comforting environment, but your donation to Goodwill will support job training for people in your community. 

Donate at a Goodwill retail store or attended donation center and change a life. Goodwill is a nonprofit organization, so your donation is tax-deductible. Learn more about Goodwill's work and feel confident in your decision to declutter!